Faculty Profile

Brian Collier, MFA

Associate Professor of Fine Arts: Art

M.F.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.F.A. Suny at Buffalo

Areas of Expertise:

Sculpture, installation art, digital imaging, video, web design, interdisciplinary art and ecological art.  I am particularly interested in artworks that traverse traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Courses I Teach:

  • Digital Imaging
  • Digital Video Art
  • Sculpture: Subject and Object
  • Sculpture: Site and Installation
  • Performing Presentations
  • Senior Studio

My Saint Michael's:

I lead students to understand that successful art-making is a balance of technical skills, focused research and creative experimentation. I show students a wide range of art historical examples for assigned projects but encourage them to find their own unique and diverse solutions.

In 2011 I had a solo exhibition of my work at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, showed work in a group exhibition at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia and created a public art project for selected buses and bus stops in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Off Campus:

I enjoy kayaking, biking, hiking, parrots and all kinds of animals.  I am also founder and president of The Society for Re-Natural Environment.

Brian Collier, associate professor of art, this fall was showing work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Art-Science Gallery in Boulder. CO. The group exhibition features a series of projects Brian has done in Boulder over the years and is part of the History of Art in Boulder, CO Project. The show runs from Sept. 29, 2016 - Jan. 6, 2017.
(posted November 2016)

Brian Collier,

associate professor of art, whose work was at the Shelburne Museum recently as part of the “Eyes on the Land” exhibition, was mentioned in a review of the exhibition in Seven Days, and he and his project were the exclusive focus of an article “Wisdom found Staring at Pine Island Goats,” by Jess Wisloski the Essex Reporter. He also presented work at Pecha Kucha night on Nov. 12 at the Shelburne Museum.
(posted January 2016)

Brian D Collier, associate professor of art, will be part of a panel discussion, “The Working Land,” at Shelburne Museum, Pizzigalli Center for Art & Education, on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The discussion will be an exploration of our historical, artistic, literary and personal relationships to place -- in conjunction with the special exhibition Eyes on the Land, developed in collaboration with the Vermont Land Trust. Noted scholars participating in the day’s discussions and gallery tour include: Dona Brown, Professor of History, University of Vermont; John Elder, Professor Emeritus, Middlebury College; Robert Thorson, Professor of Geology, University of Connecticut. Along with Brian, who is an artist, educator and re-naturalist whose projects manifest as public art works, exhibitions and multi-media presentations, other artist-panelists will be Cameron Davis (teaches painting, drawing, perspectives on making, and transdisciplinary courses on art, ecology, and community at the University of Vermont); Gowri Savoor (creates emotive environmental sculpture and works on paper); and Susan Abbott (whose oil and watercolor paintings examine the specifics and mood of place, especially the New England working landscape).

(posted September 2015)

Brian Collier, assistant professor of fine arts/art, had artwork exhibited in a show titled "Picture Books" at the Power Plant Gallery at Duke University from Sept. 9 - Nov 7, 2014.
(posted December 2014)

Brian Collier, assistant professor of art, had writing from his project "The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects" included in The Object, a new book from MIT Press in the Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art series. The book was edited by Anthony Hudek and the publication date was February 7, 2014. Brian also had images and text from his project "The Highway Expedition" included in Art and Ecology Now, a major new survey from Thames and Hudson Press. The book was edited by Andrew Brown and publication date was May 20, 2014. Brian also has been invited to create new work for an exhibition at the Shelburne Museum’s new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education. The exhibition is tentatively titled "Eyes On The Land" and is a collaboration between the Vermont Land Trust and the Shelburne Museum. Brian is creating his art work based on a year-long investigation of the Pine Island Farm in Colchester, VT which houses the Vermont Goat Collaborative alongside ecological restoration activities in the Intervale. The exhibition is scheduled for summer 2015.
(posted August 2014)

Brian Collier, assistant professor of art, had his work was featured in the exhibition, "Curios & Cuiosities: Interpreting the Natural & Cultural Worlds" at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem, Oregon, from January 17 to February 22 of 2014. Also, Brian is the cover artist and has a text and image piece published in Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, #16. And, his work is included in the forthcoming book (March 2014), The Object from MIT Press: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/object
Brian’s work also is included in the forthcoming book (May-June 2014), Art & Ecology Now  from Thames and Hudson Publishers. (March 2014)

Brian Collier, assistant professor of fine arts/art, and his project "Roadkill Shrines" has been written about in a new book by Jane Desmond from the Routledge Studies in Anthropology series (Routledge Press), titled Environmental Anthropology: Future Directions, published on June 4, 2013. The author's writing about Brian's work appears on pp. 50-53 and includes one of his photographs from that project.  Also, Brian was featured artist for a September show by Burlington City Arts (BCA), a high-profile show for the region and state. The first event for the statewide, multi-faced show was September 6, with BCA opening reception to be held September 27. The show is curated by DJ Hellerman, a new art instructor for Saint Michael's. 

Brian Collier, assistant professor of art, currently has an exhibit showing at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, NY. His exhibition "Very Small Objects/ Selective Unveiling" runs through April 13, and the opening reception was February 8. Brian's work at Friends Academy was being shown in conjunction with that of Elrie Joubert, the 2010 winner of South Africa's most prestigious art competition, The Absa L'Atelier, which rewards young artists between the ages of 21 and 35 to develop their talents abroad. On April 5, an exhibit opened at New City Galerie on Church Street in Burlington titled "Ecologies," with Brian the featured artist for the Downtown section of Art Map Burlington.

Brian Collier, assistant professor of fine arts/art, was invited as a presenter for Pechkucha Night (PKN) at the Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington on September 13, 2012. PKN is a worldwide phenomenon that began in 2003 in Tokyo and now is held in more than 550 cities around the globe. It offers the opportunity for a broad range of participants to present their designs, projects, thoughts, and ideas at a fun, informal, and fast-paced gathering. Brian was one of 10 presenters at the Fleming PKN. He talked about programs and projects he has been part of as founder and president of the Society for a Re-Natural Environment.

Artist/assistant professor, Brian Collier, who has created art installations at venues in museums, libraries and big box stores around the world, is installing his  participatory exhibition, "The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects," subtitled, A New Taxonomy and Catalogued Collection, in Durick Library, April 27 to October 15.

Professor Collier will give an artist's talk about the exhibit, titled, "Locating, Naming and Displaying Very Small Objects," on Friday, April 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Durick Library, Room 115. An opening reception for the show will be held on April 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Durick Library Room 115.

The Collier Classification System, invented by Brian Collier, provides tools "to intimately explore and apply order to the micro-detritus of an intimate landscape." The artist has provided a fascinating array of objects and explanations of how to participate in the collection process at his remarkable website: http://verysmallobjects.com/

Public invited to explore "the very small"

"Our intimate daily landscape is filled with a vast universe of disorganized, unnamed and often overlooked very small objects," Professor Collier wrote. "Hidden within this chaotic muddle are objects of wonder and beauty that, when noticed, can deepen our experience of the spaces we inhabit." The professor was thus inspired in 2004 to invent The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects.


Definition of "the very small"

Professor Collier has used his system to create a Master Collection which has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He invites the public to enter the exploration for understanding "the world of the very small" by visiting the exhibit and by using the Collier System to collect and name Very Small Objects. Professor Collier defines a very small object as "any once living or never living thing big enough to be seen by the naked eye but no larger than 8mm x 8mm x 20mm. No living thing may ever be collected or named using this classification system except when the specimen is a small part or fragment that may be collected using a method that causes no significant harm to the larger organism."


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